One of the most frustrating experiences people can have is to not be understood, or to be misunderstood. In one of my first jobs after college, we had regular team meetings to discuss clients that we were having difficulties with. I often had things to say about the clients, but unbeknownst to me, my voice was so quiet no one could hear me, or understand what I was saying! Finally someone had mercy on me and said, “I know you have valuable information and opinions, but we can’t hear a word you say!” I was so embarrassed! But it was an eye-opening moment for me, and I began training myself to speak more loudly and more clearly. This training helped me to get promoted in that organization, and in other organizations I’ve worked for since.
Now, obviously, learning to speak up and speak clearly is not exactly the same as accent reduction training, but there are some pretty obvious parallels:
In any business, communication is the most important aspect. If people cannot communicate with one another, it is basically impossible to do business together. And although written communication is a huge part of business interactions, communication by voice will always play a part. Even in this age of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WeChat, and other forms of written communication, people still value the human voice.
Although business relationships can be built strictly via written communication, we still rely on spoken communication for many of our business interactions. Networking events still happen primarily face to face. Job interviews are usually face to face, even if it’s over Skype or Zoom. Sales presentations to potential clients are almost always face to face. We haven’t discovered anything that works as effectively for building trust as actual human contact.
And that’s where accent reduction training comes in.
By learning how to pronounce English in a way that’s closer to a neutral American accent, you can greatly increase your communication skills, reduce misunderstandings, and increase your confidence. How often have you stepped aside to let a coworker speak because you weren’t sure people would listen to what you had to say? How often have you sent a subordinate to do a presentation because every time you do one, you find yourself repeating your words every few sentences? How often have you retreated to email when a client calls, so you could be sure your words were understood? With accent reduction training, many of these problems can be reduced or eliminated.
Now, it’s not easy. It takes hours of work, as much as an hour a day. But with a trained accent reduction specialist, you can improve your speech by as much as 50%, and sometimes by as much as 75%!
Accent reduction training can help you move your career forward, by helping you communicate more effectively.